Wednesday, July 29, 2015


This finish is a bit of a final farewell to the Mid-Century Modern Bee. Oh I've many friends among them, and that won't change, but most of the blocks that make up this quilt were made for me by them, and since then, I'm no longer a part of the bee. But back in April 2014, I chose the Rolling Diamonds pattern by knottygnome crafts, and as requested, I received a bright, colorful mix! Except when it came time to finally put the quilt together, I needed a few more blocks. My friend Sharon/smbrendle graciously made me one, and I made a couple more. Aren't they fun?!

I know 'just' 16 blocks make a relatively small quilt - only 48" square - but I really liked them as they were, and it seemed like I'd waited long enough to finish this one up.

I searched in my stash for a backing and settled on a green Dear Stella ticking stripe. Quilting in a simple grid resulted in a soft, comfy quilt, and the Aurifil 50 wt #2021 (Natural White) I used was subtle enough to tie everything together and not make too much of a statement. Binding is from "Wish" by Valori Wells Designs and I went off on a limb doing a machine-stitched binding. I used Rachel/Stitched in Color's tutorial, which was really fun for a change, and seemed to fit the playfulness of this quilt. I used the same Natural White thread, and even though it's pretty obvious, I like it just fine. The only thing to note is that Rachel uses a 3/8" seam to sew on the binding, which obviously dipped into my block points a bit. I could have easily adjusted that, but was so focused following instructions, I neglected to. Otherwise, though, I'm quite pleased. I still totally consider myself a hand-binder, but for now and again, I think I'll revisit this technique.

So there's an end of an era, so to speak. Thanks to the Mid-Century Modern gals for the fun time we sewed together!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Super Tote

There was a little secret sewing last week, and now that it's been gifted I can share the Super Tote I made for my friend Sharon/smbrendle's birthday. You probably know the pattern is by noodlehead, so I expected it to be a straight-forward sew, and it was. Not to say I didn't have to reread a couple of sections and zoom in on a few photos, but overall it came together just like it was supposed to.

It's touted as an "extra roomy tote" and I agree, as it finishes at 15"x15"3.5". There were a couple of options, and here's what I went with:
  • fully lining the front pocket rather than just a facing - in my mind it was easier, and was just a really nice finish.
  • using ByAnnie's Soft and Stable for the sides of the bag, vs. canvas or medium weight fusible interfacing - I was using quilting cotton for the exterior fabric, and I occasionally have bubbling issues with heavier interfacings, and I didn't want to risk that. If I'd used home dec, I might have gone that way, but even so, I like the feel and structure of the Soft and Stable, so who knows.
A few other tidbits of note:
  • The piping. What I found in pre-made didn't go color-wise, and luckily I had a length of cording lying around. So in moments, I made my own. Noodlehead has a nice tutorial if you haven't done it before, though for the top of the tote pocket, bias wasn't necessary, and I had my fabric glue stick handy, so used that. But talk about easy. And that way I was able to use coordinating fabric.
  • The zipper. Let's just say it was easy-peasy. Here's one of the spots I had to reread and glance at photos, but really, it's a clever technique.
  • If I had a misgiving, it would be that the sides of the bag are so much flimsier than the main bag exteriors. The side exterior is a linen blend (I think Kokka.), so of course it has a nice hand, and both the side exterior and lining are pleated, which it a super cool detail, but still. It's probably all in my fabric/interfacing choices, and it's perfectly functional as is, but just thought I'd mention it as something to think about. And by the way, the interior pockets are the same fabric as those exterior sides and were an easy install.

All in all, the tote was an enjoyable make and a more than functional finish. Indeed, a very super tote.